The PAAC Lent Devotional

Last month, a member of Progressive Asian American Christians asked if anyone knew of a commentary or devotional that was maybe a little more progressive and maybe not written by a white man. No one knew of anything, but another member wondered if we could make one ourselves. Within 72 hours, she had gathered (and scheduled!) more than enough people to make one for every day of Lent, including not just writers but also illustrators and photographers and calligraphers and dancers.

Today is the first day of said devotional, and I couldn’t be more stoked. I haven’t done anything in Lent for years, so i’m looking forward to actually doing something. And more than that, I’m so proud of this amazing team for seeing a need and creating something beautiful to meet it.

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Finding a Therapist

Starting therapy isn’t easy; once you’ve made the decision to go, you then have to find a therapist, which is no small task.  As I’ve written previously, finding a therapist isn’t like finding a dentist or a mechanic; how you feel about your therapist has everything to do with how well your therapy will go, which isn’t the case for most people who provide you services.

So if you’re in the market for a therapist, here’s what I recommend:

1.  Ask around.  If you know someone who’s been in therapy and you feel comfortable doing this, ask who they see and if they like working with them.

Since you may not know anyone who’s seeing a therapist — or at least is public about it — this may not be a viable option.  But if you do, having someone you know and trust vouch for a therapist is a huge deal.

2.  Psychology Today has a Find a Therapist directory; you can enter your zip code and find a list of therapists in your area.  Each therapist’s profile usually includes a blurb about how they work, areas of specialty, fees, and the like.  Do a search, find a few who fit your needs and whose profiles resonate with you, and give them a call.  Almost every therapist I know in private practice has a profile there.

3.  Below is a list of therapists I would recommend.  Since I went to school in LA, my list is disproportionately skewed toward Southern California and where my classmates have dispersed around the country, so I apologize if your city/state/entire geographical region is neglected.  But for those who do live in these areas, every person on this list is someone I would be willing to see myself.

A few things to keep in mind in the process:

– Just as medical doctors have different specialties and techniques, so too do therapists.  It may be helpful, as you look for one, to inquire how they work and if they have experience working with the kind of issue you’re dealing with.

– Since finding a therapist who’s a good fit is so important, you might need to try a few before you find one you like.  It can take some time, but many therapists offer free consultations, either in person or by phone, which is helpful.  The extra time and effort is worth it.

I wish you the best on your search, and if there’s anything I can do to help, feel free to shoot me an email.

***

Los Angeles County

Mackenzie Abraham (Redondo Beach)

Whitney Dicterow (Westwood)

Katie Flores (Pasadena)

Michelle Harwell (Eagle Rock)

Gary Hayashi (South Pasadena)

Martin Hsia (Glendale)

Peter Huang (Pasadena)

Broderick Leaks (Glendale)

Hanna Lee (Cal Poly Pomona Student Health and Counseling Services*)

Angela Liu (Pasadena)

Jennifer Shim Lovers (Pasadena)

Jeremy Mast (Sierra Madre)

Shauna McManus (Pasadena)

Loretta Mead (Whitter)

Ani Vartazarian (Westwood)

Orange County

Jessica Eldridge (UC Irvine Counseling Center*)

Lindsay Golden (Newport Beach)

Negar Shekarabi (Irvine; also UC Irvine Counseling Center*)

David Wang (Fullerton)

Riverside County

Jennifer Hung (Corona; also UC Riverside Counseling Center*)

Loretta Mead (Riverside; also UC Riverside Counseling Center*)

Santa Barbara

Steve Rogers

Fresno

Ya-Shu Liang (Fresno State Student Health Center*)

Bay Area

Katie Byron (Redwood City)

Sarah Kasuga-Jenks (Berkeley)

Danielle Vanaman (Castro Valley)

Seattle

Judith Hong Cho

Boston

Sarah Moon

New York City

Elena Kim

Ellen Lee

Nikki Rubin

Chicago

Stephan Gombis

Crystal Kannankeril

Eunia Lee (Naperville)

Tracy Leman (Hinsdale)

Michigan

Maechi Chue (Troy)

Tim Hogan (Detroit)

Pearl Stewart (Troy)

Dan Zomerlei (Grandville)

Nashville

Lauren King

Brittany Rader

Charlotte

Kelley Bolton

Austin

Melody Li

Ryan Spencer

Boulder

Lindsay Sturgeon

Boise

Chris Waters

* Therapists working at university counseling centers can be seen only by students enrolled in that university.

7 Things You Should Know About Therapy Before You Start

For a therapist, the first session with a client is everything.  Not only is it where you start to build a relationship, but it’s also where you gather all of their background information, the puzzle pieces you use to construct a picture of who they are — the most important of which is why they’ve come to see you in the first place.  When I was a therapist, that was the first thing I would ask.

I once had a client who responded, “I was watching House last night, and one of the characters on the show saw a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist pointed out all of these things they didn’t even realize about themselves, and they had this amazing, mind-blowing experience.  I want to experience something like that.”

I paused.  “Okay,” I said slowly.  “Is there anything in particular that’s bothering you, or anything specific that you want to address?”

The client stared blankly back at me.

This was not going to go well.

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